10 Things You Might Not Know About COPD
COPD is a complex and intricate group of conditions. Even for those who educate and familiarize themselves with this condition regularly, there are always new things to learn and new facts to share.
We've compiled ten interesting facts that you and/or your friends and family might not know. Take a look and see if any of them strike you as new info! And feel free to share any additional nuggets you have in the comments!
- There are 15 million adults in the US who have been diagnosed with COPD - This is equal to about 6% of the population.
- "End-stage" COPD, also called Stage 4, does not mean the end is imminent - a person can live a very fulfilling life for several years with "end-stage" COPD.
- COPD is not always caused by smoking - 10-15% of those diagnosed with COPD have never smoked!
- There's actually a genetic condition that can cause COPD - Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is a very rare disorder affecting about 100,000 people in the United States
- COPD can cause very sudden exacerbations, or flare-ups - just because someone seemed "fine" yesterday, doesn't mean they're "fine" today
- Fragrances and perfumes can affect breathing not just because of the scent, but because of the chemical vapors that float through the air and attach to skin, hair, and more!
- Exercise is actually extremely good for those with COPD, even though breathing challenges make it seem harmful.
- Staying hydrated and drinking water is especially important for those with COPD - it can thin the mucus in your lungs making coughs more productive and improving breathing.
- Contrary to what most of us do regularly, it's actually better to breathe in through your nose and out through pursed lips - this helps get rid of stale air trapped in the lungs!
- When a person is diagnosed with COPD, they are still the same person! In fact, they may be a stronger version of the person they once were!
Do you have an exacerbation toolkit?